Of course it was implausible. That’s what most of these junk suits are about, being as stupid as you can be just to say you’re doing something, and of course to fundraise off it for legal funds which end up in your pocket. The judge in this case ripped this lawsuit to shreds in his scathing opinion. Hey, ya know, these lawyers that submitted it should face immediate disbarment for bringing such an action. But since no one does anything about these time wasting, court resource wasting suits, it’s too easy to continue to file them as there are no consequences for filing them.
A federal judge threw out a sprawling racketeering lawsuit brought by former President Donald Trump against his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, members of her campaign, and an array of figures tied to Trump-Russia collusion claims.
Judge Donald Middlebrooks harshly critiqued Trump’s legal filings in a ruling explaining why the case was being tossed out.
“Many of the Amended Complaint’s characterizations of events are implausible because they lack any specific allegations which might provide factual support for the conclusions reached,” the judge said in a 65-page ruling.
“In presenting a pleading, an attorney certifies that it is not being presented for any improper purpose; that the claims are warranted under the law; and that the factual contentions have evidentiary support. … I have serious doubts about whether that standard is met here.”
Trump had unsuccessfully sought to push Middlebrooks, who was appointed a federal judge by President Bill Clinton in 1997, to recuse himself from the case earlier this year.
The former president filed his lawsuit in March, then amended it in June, contending a host of characters were part of a broad conspiracy to undermine his candidacy and presidency with false collusion claims, and Hillary Clinton and others sought to dismiss the suit this summer. Some of the figures named include Clinton, members of her campaign, DOJ and FBI leadership, British ex-spy Christopher Steele, and his alleged main dossier source Igor Danchenko.
“Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty,” Trump’s legal team said in June. “The actions taken in furtherance of their scheme — falsifying evidence, deceiving law enforcement, spreading disinformation through the media, and exploiting access to highly-sensitive data sources — are so outrageous, subversive and incendiary that even the events of Watergate pale in comparison.”
Clinton said in July “the court should dismiss these baseless claims with prejudice.”
In his dismissal, Middlebrooks noted that Trump’s team had repeatedly cited DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December 2019 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse report.
“The Inspector General’s Report is referenced throughout the Amended Complaint, in support of [Trump’s] claim that senior officials of the FBI and Department of Justice conspired to harm him through a baseless investigation,” the judge wrote. He added that the Trump suit “fails to acknowledge that the Inspector General’s Report, while acknowledging deficiencies, reached the following ultimate conclusion.”
Middlebrooks then quoted Horowitz’s finding that “Crossfire Hurricane was opened for an authorized investigative purpose and with sufficient factual predicate.” The judge said Trump and his lawyers “are of course free to reject the conclusion of the Inspector General, but they cannot misrepresent it in a pleading.”
Middlebrooks also said Thursday that Trump’s complaint “cites copiously to the indictment of Michael Sussmann and a substantial portion of the Amended Complaint contains its allegations … but nowhere does the Amended Complaint mention Mr. Sussmann’s acquittal.”
Sussmann, a former Perkins Coie and Clinton campaign lawyer, was found not guilty at the end of a two-week trial in May after being charged with lying to the FBI about whom he was representing when, in September 2016, he pushed debunked claims of a link between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa-Bank.